Senate backs landscape architect license

Landscape architects looks like they will now be a licensed profession, if a bill that passed the Senate Wednesday is signed by Governor John Lynch.

The law grew out of some rocky soil. It was germinating for years, and was just on the verge of breaking into daylight, when the Senate Finance Committee recommended sending it back to study, because those in similar trades had concerns, particularly land surveyors.

Sen. Robert Clegg, R-Hudson, said that this was another example of the Senate passing laws that hurt the “little guy” by forcing him to spend money on a four-year college and get a degree “for doing what he is already doing.” He also said that it would drive up their pay, and thus the cost of housing, for the benefit of a small group of landscape architects, which he numbered at about 35.

But Sen. Sheila Roberge, R-Bedford, said that it was a profession whose time has come and that nobody people should not be calling themselves a landscape architect without the proper training. The measure also would keep imposters and people who perform shoddy work out of the profession, she said.

The bill lists a number of trades – including landscapers and land surveyors – that would be exempted from the bill and wouldn’t need to get a license. Most of these groups support the legislation. – BOB SANDERS

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